FMC Home Link PBS Program LinkFMC Book LinkViewer's Voices LinkInteractivity LinkTeacher's Guide
  Timeline LinkTrends Challenge Link

FMC Logo 1
  < Back to Timeline


  James A. Garfield
  Franz Boas
  Jane Adams
  Frederick Jackson Turner
  H. H. Goddard
  Charles Davenport
  Julia Lathrop
  Robert and Helen Lynd
  President Hoover
  President Roosevelt
  George Gallup
  Alfred Kinsey
  Betty Friedan
  Daniel Patrick Moynihan
  James Coleman
  Middletown III Team
  Alfred Kahn
  Paul Volcker
  James Q. Wilson
  Middletown IV Team
  Ben Wattenberg

FMC Logo 2  

George Gallup

1935 - George Gallupís started a weekly column, America Speaks, based on the new technology of public opinion polls. Gallup used a new kind of public opinion polling method called quota sampling.

1936 - Gallup promised newspapers that were paying to use his survey data that if he didnít predict the results of the 1936 election more accurately than the prediction of the Literary Digest, Gallup would refund their money. The Literary Digest forecasted the election with a sample numbering in the millions. Gallupís quota sample included only three thousand people. But Gallupís sample was more representative of the electorate as a whole. The Literary Digest sample, while very large, was also skewedóit included few working class voters.

1948 - Gallupís forecast of the presidential election, like all the other polls, was wrong. Gallup had stopped polling a week before the election. In that last week, a significant number of voters changed their minds and voted to elect President Truman. Also, quota sampling was not perfect and was replaced by random probability sampling.

Related Links:

Program Segment 7

A. Gallup
G. Gallup

1936 Election

1948 Election


<< Back to Timeline





PBS Program | Trends of the Century | Viewer's Voices | Interactivity | Teacher's Guide